I despise shot lists.

dancing wedding guests

Think you can get a shot like this from a scripted list?

There, I said it, and I am not the least bit ashamed. I know there are things that people want to see, and posed shots are part of the deal, but it drives me crazy when I get a list of choreographed, posed shots at events that are as personal and unpredictable as a wedding.

This is one very happy man!

I’ve wondered for years why some people prefer a scripted sequence of shots to a candid record of what did happen. I trained in photojournalism for years before I moved to weddings, portraits and other commercial-type projects. I learned quickly how it is absolutely not possible to script how a hurricane can turn an entire region upside down. Similarly, you’ll find that no matter how nicely you ask the former president of Haiti to smile while he is being shown the door after being ousted by a popular uprising, it’s not very likely he’s going to feel much like saying, “cheese!”

Spontaneous laughter

I don’t remember what, but something really tickled them.

For those who think those are pretty extreme comparisons to a wedding, think again. I say weddings are just as life-changing as anything in the human experience. I love the “truth with a capital T” shots that I uncover when I can move by intuition, intuition I’ve gained from shooting for more than thirteen years all over the world in nice places and not-so-nice places.

If I’m looking at lists, I’m distracted and not watching to see if something is about to happen. Things like a tear of joy in someone’s eyes or a sudden burst of laughter. I can feel space, see shots coming before the bride, groom or family can. It leaves them free to be there, really be there, so they can burn that moment into their memories.

If I have freedom, I can get the shots that can help you relive that memory that’s burned into your mind.


Tears of joy at wedding

This bride remembered her mother who had died five years earlier.

There have been many studies conducted about our overuse of our cell phone cameras to record events. It is a fact that we don’t remember scenes or events that we are actually physically in, as well, when we are machine gun snapping pics of that event. You are literally removing yourself from the event in order to focus on shooting that pic. I believe you do the same thing to yourself if you are watching out of the corner of your eye to see if pose number 53 went off as expected.

Each wedding is unique. That is so important to remember. I’m there to tell story of the day as it unfolds and capture all of the emotions. I know how to photograph weddings, honest. So, can we dial it back a bit with the canned lists?

OK, OK. We’ll get one of the flower girl holding a kitten.

Big hug

There, there.

Are you someone who wants the photos to tell it like it is? Well, you have come to the right place. Contact me and let’s see what kind of magic we can capture.

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